Dig 4 – Disappointing results from Test Pit 1

In Streetly End, our first test pit was dug in an area of lawn in the back garden of No. 35 Streetly End, situated on the south side of the road running through the hamlet. The test pit was also located close to a find spot of medieval pottery in an adjacent field to the south and we were excited to find out if there was any evidence of medieval occupation in the garden too.

Test-pit 1 being excavated.

Excavation removed 40cm of soil to reveal natural clay at the base of the pit. Archaeology comprised 5cm of turf covering 25cm of topsoil and 10cm of subsoil. No features were recorded in the pit.

Disappointingly, finds were few but included pot, glass, clay pipe, metalwork, animal bone and flint, all predominately 19th century or modern in date. Tellingly, modern material was found at every level of the pit, clearly indicating that the ground had been extensively dug over. The pottery assemblage does include a couple of small, abraded sherds of medieval pottery. Other finds of note include a glass bottle stopper and a pocket knife.

A modern pocket knife, found at the bottom of Test-pit 1.

Unfortunately, the evidence – thick topsoil and thin subsoil, coupled with the uniformly flat nature of the garden and the paucity of finds – suggests that the area has been extensively landscaped in the past, which probably accounts for the disappointing results.

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